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Cherisse Francis

Senior Lecturer - Law
Subject Lead - Student Experience

Cherisse Francis

About Research



Cherisse holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus (First Class Honours), a Master of Laws (Distinction) from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland and is currently concluding her Doctoral degree at the University of Warwick.

In 2018 Cherisse was called to the legal bar as an attorney at law (barrister and solicitor) in her native Barbados. Prior to her academic career Cherisse worked on human rights and legal issues across the governmental and non-governmental sectors with international agencies such as the United Nations. She was embedded in the Supreme Court of Belize with the Trafficking in Persons Judge from 2019 to 2020. Her experience on international human rights in developing contexts spans across the Global South.


As a teacher Cherisse has a keen interest in pedagogy and transformative teaching and learning. She has experience teaching various subjects across law, sociology and criminology bringing her practitioner background to the classroom.

Prior to joining the School of Law and Society Cherisse was an Associate Tutor at the University of Warwick working the LLB Criminal Law Module as well as the LLM Dissertation Writing and Research Module. In recognition of her dynamic teaching, Cherisse was awarded a Warwick Award for Teaching Excellence (WATE) Award in 2022 and she was nominated for this award again in 2023. She also taught at Galen University, Belize for a number of years on their Criminal Justice pathway having responsibility for the Juvenile Justice, Criminology and Criminal Justice Systems courses.

At St. Mary’s Cherisse currently teaches International Human Rights Law and has previously taught Organised Crime, Trafficking and Contemporary Slavery as well as Bodies, Gender and Sexualities.

In the 23/24 academic year she is supervising an undergraduate dissertation on organised crime. She is open to supervising undergraduate or postgraduate students with topics related to trafficking in persons, human rights, gender, race, juvenile justice, criminal law, organised crime and other related areas. She is also interested in supervising students who wish to conduct socio-legal or empirical research.


Research profile

Cherisse’s research mainly focuses on trafficking in persons, organised crime and elements of human trafficking. Her doctoral thesis examined trafficking in persons in the Anglophone Caribbean specifically focusing on history, culture law and discourses to determine whether a more Caribbean-centric approach would be more successful.

More broadly, Cherisse is interested in the criminal law, human rights, Global South contexts, legal education and equality, diversity and inclusion. Apart from writing on these areas, Cherisse is active in several research groups and networks including being a Human Trafficking Research Network (hosted out of Ulster University), Co-Chair of the Sex Work, Law and Society Collaborative Research Network (hosted through the Law and Society Association) and is an Affiliate of the Bakhita Centre at St. Mary’s University.

Cherisse has an interest in the student experience in Higher Education particularly as it relates to widening participation. It was this passion which allowed her to serve on the editorial committee for Issue 3 of the Journal of Postgraduate Pedagogic Practice published through the University of Warwick.

Most recently, Cherisse was runner-up in the inaugural Bloomsbury Academic Writing Fellowship. She continues working on her first manuscript looking at trafficking in persons in the Anglophone Caribbean region. Her research has been included in several reports and consultancy documents to be used by government stakeholders and non-governmental actors alike. In 2023 Cherisse was invited by the Government of Belize and the US Embassy, Belize to present her thesis findings at their first Global Trafficking Academy. Cherisse has also presented her research at over 40 conferences nationally, regionally and internationally.


  • Forthcoming –Francis, C.V. (2024) ‘Cutting my cloth to suit me: Reflections on curriculum development as a GTA delivering ‘foreign curriculums’ in seminars’ Postgraduate Pedagogies vol 4.
  • Forthcoming - Francis, C. V. (2024) ‘Saviours or Disrupters: the role of non-state actors in the government-centric realm of anti-trafficking; A Belizean example’ in Faulkner E.A. (ed.) Modern Slavery in Global Context: Human Rights, Law and Policy. Bristol: Bristol University Press.
  • Francis, C.V. (2023). ‘Book Review on White Supremacy, Racism and the Coloniality of Anti-trafficking’, Social & Legal Studies, vol 32 iss. 5, pp. 835-838.
  • Francis, C. V. (2020) ‘Charting a Path to Sustainable Development: Goals of CARICOM and the EU’ in Elias-Roberts A., Hardy S. and Huck W. (eds.), EU and CARICOM: Dilemmas versus Opportunities on Development, Law and Economics. 1st ed. England: Routledge, pp. 182-194.

Media experience

Over the last decade, Cherisse has amassed experience with international media and public-facing engagements in her areas of expertise. In 2023 she delivered the 3rd Annual Patsy Robertson Memorial Lecture on the theme ‘Can the Commonwealth be You(th)?’ on behalf of the Commonwealth Association. She has also been interviewed by the United Nations and conducted several webinar and workshops which are permanently hosted in virtual spaces. She continues to serve on various boards including Trustee for the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative and Organising Committee for the Regional Freedom from Slavery Forum (Caribbean Region) 2023 and 2024.

Areas of expertise

  • Trafficking in persons
  • Criminal Law
  • International Human Rights Law
  • Gender, Youth and Human Rights

Media enquiries

For media enquiries, please contact our Press Office Team by emailing